forum etiquette

Started Jan 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
jeff hladun
jeff hladun Veteran Member • Posts: 3,006
Re: forum etiquette

This is a very interesting topic; the responses equally so. The divergent opinions are to be expected, as we come to our photography with different goals relative to one another. In a way the responses tell me much about the writer's photographic intentions. Those who are happy with where they are as a photographer are quite content to continue commenting in a non-critical manner. Those who are interested in improving their work are desirous of deeper discussion.

For me, the goal is quite simple: I wish to make better photographs. So certainly like Daedalus, I'd appreciate a constructive and critical commentary on my work. I wouldn't mind even if it was brutal in its directness, as long as it was honestly held opinion. If I post an image here I certainly think (alas, usually for only that moment!) that it's good. If someone wants to offer a challenging thought that may re-direct me, I'd be only too happy to receive it, think about it, and possibly accept it. At the same time, if a viewer thinks an image is good, I don't really care about the open compliment.  I care about WHY they think it's good.

It's much more interesting and edifying to know why we like or don't like an image than it is to post an empty, meaningless compliment. Offering comment and criticism has a two-fold benefit: First, it helps the receiver to become a better photographer if the comment is useful in function.  Second, criticism allows the commentator a way to become a better photographer too, as description and illumination of thought, laying out a well-constructed point-of-view, is a way to enhance and bridge the creative process. The photographer-as-writer. If you cannot describe it, you probably don't understand it.

Maybe the approach best taken in order to maintain Forum etiquette, is to realize who among us are working the creative struggle, critique their work, and let the rest be happy in their goals. There are all kinds of hints as to who they are.

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